Francis is starting horse-riding lessons: here’s scenes of his first day!
Brushing Rosie the horse
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On Tuesday, Dec 28 my lovely wife Julie gave birth to our third son. After some dithering back and forth (we’re methodical about baby names) we picked Gregory. Everyone is happy and healthy. Vital stats: 20 inches, 7 pounds 9 oz. The brothers are adjusting well, though Theo’s first response to my phone call telling him it was a boy was “oh no, another one of those.”
That’s 5yo Francis (aka “little big brother”) and 7yo Theo (“big big brother”) meeting their new sibling at the hospital. More pics in the Gregory! and Gregory in the Hospital sets on Flickr.
As I mentioned, we’re methodical about names. When we were faced with Baby #2 I put together the “Fallen Baby Names Chart”–classic names that had fallen out of trendy use. It’s based on the current ranking of the top names of 1900. “Gregory” doesn’t appear on our chart because it was almost unused until a sudden appearance in the mid-1940s (see chart, right). Yes, that would be the time when a handsome young actor named Gregory Peck became famous. It peaked in 1962, the year of Peck’s Academy Award for To Kill a Mockingbird and has been dropping rapidly ever since. Last year less than one in a thousand newborn boys were Gregory’s. While we recognize Peck’s influence in the name’s Twentieth Century popularity, Julie is thinking more of Gregory of Nyssa [edited, I originally linked to another early Gregory]. Peck’s parents were Catholic (paternal relatives helped lead the Irish Easter Rising) and were presumably thinking of the Catholic saint when they gave him Gregory for a middle name (he dropped his first name Eldred for the movies).
Today is the extended deadline for forced flu shots for young children in New Jersey, the day schools across the state threaten to kick students out if they haven’t taken the mercury-laden vaccine. Every year sees more forced and/or pressured vaccinations, many dozens now in New Jersey. The flu shot is particularly unnecessary. An average of two kids a year die from flu in the state and this flu season has only seen two pediatric deaths in the entire country. Yes, every death is a shame but why are we kicking kids out of school and spending billions of dollars in flu shots for a largely non-lethal disease.
New Jersey is also known as the state with the highest concentration of autism. I’ve met sane-seeming parents of special-needs kids who say the symptoms started right after a vaccination. I’m no expert but I’ve read enough to know the doctors and pharmaceutical companies have no clue about the cumulative effect of all these vaccinations. They took our little one Francis in to school this morning despite not having the shot. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Other New Jersians wanting to know more can check out the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice for more about the movement to have parents these choices for their kids.